The Parallels Between The CW’s Arrow and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy

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I am a big fan of superhero TV series and films, and one of my favorite shows on TV right now is the CW’s Arrow. At first I thought the show was pretty bad, but since the end of season one, Arrow has become must watch TV with great characters and great writing. The more I watch new episodes of Arrow, the more I notice how similar it is to director Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.

For those unaware, the CW’s Arrow focuses on Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), (who will later become D.C. superhero Green Arrow), a billionaire playboy with no direction who goes on a sailing trip with his father and ends up shipwrecked on an Island off the coast of China, called Lian Yu for five years. When Oliver returns to his beloved home of Starling City, he is a completely changed man, who becomes a vigilante determined to save his city from criminals and the corrupt.

This is where the parallels between Arrow and the Dark Knight trilogy come in.

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Both Oliver Queen and Bruce Wayne Have Similar Backstories

At the start of The Dark Knight trilogy in Christopher Nolan’s film, Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is a billionaire playboy, with no direction who after his parents are mugged and murdered in front of him as a boy decides to find a means to fight injustice. Like Oliver’s home of Starling City, Bruce’s home of Gotham is controlled by criminals and the corrupt.

The police and judges have been bought off by the mob, and Gotham seems beyond saving. Once Bruce returns from training  in Bhutan under Henri Ducard/Ra’s Al Ghul and The League of Shadows, he is a completely changed man, he IS Batman, for intents and purposes Bruce Wayne is dead.

In Arrow, Oliver Queen BECOMES Arrow, he vows to save Starling City from the criminals and corrupt and to fight injustice just like Bruce does when he BECOMES Batman.

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Both Oliver and Bruce Shed Their Identities To Take On New Ones (Green Arrow and Batman respectively)

Oliver Queen returns from the Island of Lian Yu after five years and plenty of training and some pretty intense experiences. Bruce Wayne returns from Bhutan after plenty of training and being challenged both physically and mentally.

Oliver returns to Starling City and sheds his identity of being billionaire playboy, Oliver Queen and BECOMES Arrow, the hooded vigilante, who uses his archery and hand to hand combat skills to fight injustice. The billionaire playboy Oliver Queen is only used to keep up appearances, so no one will suspect he is Arrow.

Bruce returns to Gotham City and sheds his identity of being billionaire playboy, Bruce Wayne and BECOMES Batman, the masked vigilante who strikes fear in the hearts of his enemies and uses theatricality and deception to outsmart and defeat his enemies and fight injustice. He uses the skills and hand to hand combat training he learned from The League of Shadows to fight injustice and save Gotham from criminals and the corrupt. Billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne is used as a cover story and to keep up appearances just like Oliver Queen, so that no one will suspect Bruce is Batman.

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               Starling City

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               Gotham City

Both Oliver Queen/Arrow and Bruce Wayne/Batman Live in A World of Gritty Realism

Oliver Queen’s universe is filled with crime and corruption and violence. His universe is a hyper-realistic world where superheroes and vigilantes can exist, but it doesn’t seem too far-fetched. Bruce Wayne’s universe is also filled with crime and corruption and violence. His universe is also a hyper-realistic world where superheroes and vigilantes exist, and it doesn’t seem too far-fetched.

Both Oliver Queen/Arrow and Bruce Wayne Batman Are Complex Characters Who Become Loners Because of Their Crime Fighting Duties

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Oliver Queen/Arrow despite being a hero, who fights injustice has an inner struggle, believing himself to be a killer and vows never to kill after the people and criminals of Starling City see him as a killer. Oliver wants to fight injustice and believes he doesn’t have to be a killer to do so, even though he fights crime and saves lives, he still considers himself to be a killer and that is who he truly is. Oliver’s crime fighting lifestyle forces him to come to the realization that he cannot have a romantic life, because it is too dangerous, something that his friend and ally Felicity Smoak doesn’t agree with because she is in love with Oliver.

Bruce Wayne/Batman despite fighting injustice and saving lives does not consider himself a hero. He is as Commissioner James Gordon puts it “…The hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now.” Bruce is a brooding man who never really is the same after his parents are murdered in front of him. Bruce is in love with his childhood friend Rachel Dawes, but when she discovers his true identity is Batman, she understands that they cannot be together, because Bruce Wayne IS Batman now, and as long as Gotham needs him that will never change. Bruce also is unable to have a romantic life because of his duty to fighting crime as Batman.

Well this concludes The Parallels Between The CW’s Arrow and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy!

What say you? Do you agree/disagree with the similarities between Arrow and The Dark Knight Trilogy? Have you noticed these parallels? Have you seen Arrow and or The Dark Knight Trilogy? Whatever your thoughts let me know!

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